Malik M Ashraf
It is really painful to note that Imran neither believes in democracy, nor accepts the legitimacy of the current Parliament in spite of being part of it. Obsessed with the syndrome of self-righteousness he continues to pummel the sanctity of the state institutions. Is it not strange and mind-boggling that he himself requested the SC to adjudicate in the Panama Leaks case and now he is expressing no-confidence in the same judicial forum, which is the highest court of the country? .
It is probably in the backdrop of such antics that the new Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar addressing Lawyers Bar Association in Lahore on December 24 asserted in unequivocal terms that the judiciary would not come under any pressure and dispense justice without any fear and favour and all the decision would be made on merit. Imran is well advised to revisit his political creed and abandon his disdain towards the state institutions, including the judiciary. His brand of politics has not endeared him well to the people. The antics used by him have surely sent into nosedive his political graph and the people are simply not interested in the kind of agitation that he contemplates to launch. People voted for the party to play its role in reforming the system of governance that he promised. He and his party members in fact have betrayed he mandate of the people by staying away from the assembly.
For the last three years he has used all undemocratic means to dislodge the government but has failed miserably. His agitation on the rigging issue kept the nation hostage for well over a year before his allegations were proved wrong by the judicial commission which was constituted on his demand. He had given a commitment that he would accept the verdict ungrudgingly but when the verdict was delivered he took a somersault and continued with his rigging mantra on every available forum. The PTI candidates filed 58 election petitions with the election tribunals and most of them were rejected. All these decisions were taken according to the law by the appropriate judicial forums. Therefore it is absolutely wrong on his part to say that his party did not get justice.
Imran needs to go back to the drawing board and rediscover his original political philosophy that orchestrated his entry into the political landscape with a bang. His changing of the course by opting for the electables and surrounding himself with the likes of Shah Mahmood Quresh, Jahangir Tareen and Aleem Khan who have a tainted political credentials and above all alliance with a political clown like Sheikh Rasheed have damaged his cause irrevocably. My assessment of the situation is that the PML (N) is still the most popular party of the country despite the machinations of PTI and slightly less aggressive PPP which has its own reasons to oppose the government.
The PTI and PPP have nothing on their platter to win the public franchise, whereas the PML(N) can rightly boast of pulling the country out of the mess it lay embedded in 2013. The economy stands revived and is well on its way to sustained development. Energy crisis has been brought under control and there are positive portents to suggest that it will be over by the end of 2018. The infrastructure of the terrorist networks has been dismantled and an unmitigated intelligence based operations against the supporters and sleeping cells of the terrorists are continuing with unswerving commitment. Situation in Karachi and Balochistan has considerably improved. That all goes to the credit of the PML(N) government. Come next election and it will certainly help the cause of the party.
In the prevailing situation the politicians should refrain from commenting on the Panama Leaks issue as the matter is sub judice and allow the court to decide the issue according to law, as said by the new Chief Justice. They should rather now focus on the next elections and come up with realistic approaches to the challenges faced by the country. Merely concentrating on denigrating the PML (N) government on frivolous grounds would not help them to win public mandate.
— The writer is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.